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Robin Hoods Bay

Robin Hoods Bay (nearest) winning the Winter Derby at Lingfield

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Robin bids to follow
up Winter Derby win

A FEATURE worth £200,000 brings the inaugural championships to a climax at Lingfield on Friday, and a strong field contains plenty of Winter Derby graduates, including the 10-1 winner Robin Hoods Bay.

Ed Vaughan’s six-year-old will be endeavouring to confirm Lingfield form with Aussie Reigns (third), Dick Doughtywylie (fourth), Rebellious Guest (seventh), Grandeur (eighth) and Tinshu (13th).

Grandeur was sent off 7-4 market leader for the Winter Derby only to under-perform, and it would be no real surprise to see the gelding, who had previously won a Listed event over course and distance, bounce back under Ryan Moore.

John Gosden’s Dick Doughtywylie, who was poorly drawn in stall 12 last time, is more favourably berthed this afternoon in six and, with his stable continuing in all-conquering form, he could be the focus of plenty of market support at attractive early odds.

What they say
William Knight, trainer of Aussie Reigns
He’s been trained for this race and has been working well. He’s drawn quite wide, which isn’t a help, particularly as I don’t think there’ll be too much pace – those with a low draw could have an advantage – but I can see him running a big race and hopefully getting some of the prize-money. I think the bookmakers have him priced about right.

Mick Appleby, trainer of Bancnuanaheireann
He’ll run his race, and I think he’s got a good chance. He goes there in great order after running well at Kempton last month.

Charlie Johnston, son of Mark Johnston, trainer of Marshgate Lane and Party Royal
Marshgate Lane was in great form before Christmas. The horses he beat went on to run in Dubai. We’ve had a lot of hold- ups with him and it was touch and go at the start of the week whether we’d get him there. We’re happy with him now, and he ought to be bang there at the finish. Strictly at the weights, Party Royal has a bit to find. It’s good to have him qualified for a £200,000 race and he’s in good shape.

George Margarson, trainer of Rebellious Guest
He’s in really good form, and I’m happy he’s not drawn right on the inside, taking into account his style of racing. He’s gone forward since the Winter Derby, and is ready to go. He was unlucky in that – he’d have been placed with a better run.

Ed Vaughan, trainer of Robin Hoods Bay
I’m pleased with his draw as there’s enough pace inside him. He goes there in great form and worked very nicely on Saturday. In fact, he’s as good as he was going into the Winter Derby.

Marco Botti, trainer of Solar Deity
He’s been in good form since he came back from Dubai. He might not have been getting the trip on Tapeta, but should be okay on this surface.

Today's going reports
Good to firm, good in places on the 5f straight; Good to firm on the round course

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